Cancer Type – Breast

Bio – The figure skating star had a benign lump removed in her early 20’s, but it would be a different story at 49.

Short Story – The 1968 Olympic Gold Champion in Ladies’ singles and figure skating commentator had a benign lump removed in her early 20’s. During a self breast exam, she did not fear what appeared to be a shadow of a lump in her chest. Fleming was 49.

Tests would prove this lump malignant, and her athleticism came to the forefront. Married to a physician she started putting her questions together to be armed with every detail to “train” in a sense, what was best for her body.

“People need to get more in charge of looking at themselves and finding out how they’re feeling,” she insists. “If they’re feeling really different, pay attention to the changes. Early detection is a key element and a wonderful tool to save your life when it comes to cancer.”

Peggy’s treatment started with surgery to remove the one centimeter tubular carcinoma, followed by six weeks of radiation.

In her interview with Coping with Cancer, Peggy admitted, “I thought it was going to be real easy,”and it is… relatively. But about two-and-a-half weeks into it, I started feeling tired, really swollen, and itchy. It really irritated my skin. I was also exercising through the treatments, and I think that made it more irritated. I had to do a little balancing act of, Okay, I won’t exercise quite that much, and I’ll use some cortisone cream to take down the itching. You compare notes with other radiation patients, and you try all kinds of things.”

Speaking out helped her through the shock, pain, and uneasy feelings. The diagnosis shifted her focus from gracing the figure skating world to spending more time at home with her family.

Thank you Peggy for being an inspiration on and off the ice.

Image Credits – By US Mission Canada [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Peggy Fleming

Personal information
Country representedUSA
BornJuly 27, 1948 (age 68), San Jose, California, United States
Height5 ft 4 in (163 cm)
Former coachWilliam Kipp, Carlo Fassi
Skating clubArctic Blades FSC, Lake Arrowhead, Broadmoor Skating Club, Colorado Springs
Medal record
Representing the USA
Ladies’ figure skating
Olympic Games
Gold Medal – First Place, 1968 GrenobleLadies’ singles
World Championships
Gold Medal – First Place, 1968 GenevaLadies’ singles
Gold Medal – First Place, 1967 ViennaLadies’ singles
Gold Medal – First Place, 1966 DavosLadies’ singles
Bronze Medal – Third Place, 1965 Colorado SpringsLadies’ singles
North American Championships
Gold Medal – First Place, 1967 MontrealLadies’ singles
Silver Medal – Second Place 1965 RochesterLadies’ singles